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NSA Planned To Discredit Radicals Based On Web-Browsing Habits

Unknown Lamer posted about 9 months ago | from the creepy-analysts-only dept.

Privacy 415

wired_parrot writes "New leaked documents show that the NSA was not only monitoring suspected radical sympathizers, but planned to discredit them based on their web-surfing habits. This includes not only evidence of porn browsing and online sexual activity, but also extortion and blackmail based on inappropriate use of funds. At the same time, the leaked document notes that very few of the targeted contacts were associated with terrorism."

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415 comments

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FP (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540463)

first "if you're not doing anything wrong, you've nothing to hide" post!

Re:FP (4, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#45540559)

first "if you're not doing anything wrong, you've nothing to hide" post!

well, they're just redefining(or thats the way it's always been in usa seemingly) trying to achieve change of system as being radically wrong.

reminds me of this airhead minister we had for a while in finland who remarked that it's preposterous that some people were trying to change the law... which was funny because she worked in the parliament - and the main function for the parliament is to change the laws.

Re:FP (4, Insightful)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | about 9 months ago | (#45540807)

On the subject of stupid/corrupt officials, just a translation for those who don't already know:

Radical sympathiser (Governmentish)
Noun
A person that disagrees with our right to absolute power over everything.

Re:FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540897)

Don't forget, NSA = Obama Administration.

His department, his responsibility.

Re:FP (1)

Enry (630) | about 9 months ago | (#45540937)

With oversight from Congress. BSAB

Re:FP (1)

Pino Grigio (2232472) | about 9 months ago | (#45541007)

The Bush administration started the programme under discussion.

Re:FP (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540993)

reminds me of this airhead minister we had for a while in finland who remarked that it's preposterous that some people were trying to change the law... which was funny because she worked in the parliament - and the main function for the parliament is to change the laws.

Obamacare is the law of the land. Don't try to change it. Don't even mention repealing it!

Re:FP (3, Insightful)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45540569)

I have nothing to hide, but I still don't post my name here...

Anyone posting your quote should be required to post their real name.

Re:FP (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 9 months ago | (#45540779)

What I want to hide depends entirely on who's looking for it.

The government already knows my real name, and knows I use "Sarten-X" as an alias, too. The government also already knows my address, and if agents want to come visit, they're welcome to.

On the other hand, I don't trust the Internet fuckwads nearly so much, so "Sarten-X" is all you get.

Re:FP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540715)

That explains why the US government is so butthurt over leaks.

Re:FP (2, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#45541121)

Actually this is one case where I might accept that argument.

I look at porn and we can basically say every other human with internet access has as well.

I also have intoxicating liquors in my home!

The only way this impacts anyone is if they are in the closet or something. Just having looked at porn is not something anyone in 2013 should be concerned about, at least not anyone I hang out with.

Porn browsing? (5, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | about 9 months ago | (#45540499)

Why would one lose ones credibility because of that?

If anything I wouldn't trust someone who doesn't watch porn..

Re:Porn browsing? (5, Insightful)

FlyHelicopters (1540845) | about 9 months ago | (#45540527)

Amen to that... Why is prostitution illegal while porn is not? The whole thing smacks of religious nut jobs who want to regulate your private life.

Re:Porn browsing? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540675)

Amen to that... Why is prostitution illegal while porn is not? The whole thing smacks of religious nut jobs who want to regulate your private life.

Apparently you've never visited Washington, DC, where the "escort" business thrives due to its many politician and high-ranking government official client-base. Of course if working class Joe Q. Public is in the company of these "escorts", assuming he can afford them, the police will have his name in the newspaper faster than a Gulf of Mexico Hurricane flattens a school.

Re:Porn browsing? (4, Insightful)

donscarletti (569232) | about 9 months ago | (#45540839)

  • * You can't get STDs from porn.
  • * Pornographic videos and literature are not human, so its distribution cannot be human trafficking.
  • * If your wife catches you watching a bunch of porn, she is unlikely to divorce you.
  • * Porn rarely gets beaten up by pimps and johns.
  • * Almost everyone openly or secretly loves porn, criminalising it would be too hard.

Re:Porn browsing? (5, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about 9 months ago | (#45540951)

You can get STDs for free, and human trafficking occurs plenty regardless of prostitution laws. There would be lot less beating (and to a lesser degree, trafficking) if prostitution weren't illegal such that its practitioners are unable to report real crimes committed against them to the police.

To paraphrase George Carlin, it's nonsense that something is illegal to sell that you can legally give away for free.

Re:Porn browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541097)

* If your wife catches you watching a bunch of porn, she is unlikely to divorce you.

Have you asked a divorce lawyer about that? It may not be the cause, but it's often the catalyst.

Re:Porn browsing? (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 9 months ago | (#45541185)

If that factors into it in anyway you married the wrong person.

Re:Porn browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541067)

Prostitution is completely different from pornography, that's not an angle that works really.

spirals (5, Insightful)

TheMeuge (645043) | about 9 months ago | (#45540549)

Information imbalance creates a vast power imbalance. And we'd be fools to think that this power imbalance would not be exploited. Generally, in military terms you talk about capabilities, rather than intentions when making assessments. So when universal surveillance becomes a capability, we have to assume it's not just used, but used universally. And one doesn't have to go far in history to search for consequences of having such a system. While not nearly as sophisticated, East Germany during the Soviet era provides plenty of evidence for what WILL be done with the information obtained as a result of a vast surveillance network. In a few words, mainly ammunition for the government to persecute and discredit critics (which isn't new), but also alarmingly but unsurprisingly, a way for those with access to this information (specific individuals within law enforcement and government) to exert this power over other private individuals for spite, profit, blackmail, coverup, etc. It's happened before. We have to be fools to think it won't happen again.

Dang, just used up my mod points (1, Interesting)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | about 9 months ago | (#45540663)

But I'd give you a bump if I could.

Re:spirals (5, Insightful)

bob_super (3391281) | about 9 months ago | (#45540823)

You forgot to add that once the state is known to spy on everything, it can fabricate any "evidence" it wishes against specific individuals (as a state policy, or because the database operator has a grudge/political motivation), and people will believe it.

Re:spirals (3, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 9 months ago | (#45541129)

"No, really, I don't look at furry midget porn on the internet! It's a plot by the NSA to discredit me!" Riiiiiiiight...

Re:spirals (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 9 months ago | (#45541165)

I typed "midget BDSM panda cubs porn" before I deleted it because it would distract from the point.
Geeks mindsets - unite!

Re:spirals (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540913)

You're a fool to think it can be stopped from within the system which is creating such an existence.

Re:spirals (3, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 9 months ago | (#45541171)

In a few words, mainly ammunition for the government to persecute and discredit critics (which isn't new), but also alarmingly but unsurprisingly, a way for those with access to this information (specific individuals within law enforcement and government) to exert this power over other private individuals for spite, profit, blackmail, coverup, etc.

It's even worse than that. Because they have these systems they don't need any actual evidence. If they don't like you (or you're divorcing someone they care about) they can just accuse you of wrongdoing that they "discovered" through surveilling you. How are you going to prove that you didn't do what they accuse you of? Audit their systems? Mmm hmm, I'm sure they'll let a known pedophilistic-terrorist or his designee in to check everything out. Even when you can audit systems it's hard enough to prove a negative.

Re:Porn browsing? (4, Funny)

jasper160 (2642717) | about 9 months ago | (#45540571)

I am sure the NSA was spending hours "analyzing" the material.

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 9 months ago | (#45540815)

Right.

I'm sure they have some interesting spreadsheets/presentations detailing the "current bad guys" porn preferences:
"Wow, this imam in Hamburg is really into Shaved Headed Albino Milf Lesbians with "Eat at Joes" tattoos"

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45540883)

Rule #34 is alive and well, I see.

Re: Porn browsing? (3, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | about 9 months ago | (#45540903)

The don't need porn. They have more than enough watching what real people, of all ages, do.

Re:Porn browsing? (4, Insightful)

rnturn (11092) | about 9 months ago | (#45540603)

``If anything I wouldn't trust someone who doesn't watch porn.''

If anything, I'd mistrust the people who make a big deal about never looking at internet porn. Just look at the frequent revelations involving vocal evangelists.

Trying to lean on people based on their internet browsing habits? It seems that someone's trying to quell any public dissent on NSA snooping on Americans. "Listen buddy... icksnay on the oopingsnay or we'll let everyone in your church know about those web sites you visited last Wednesday evening between the hours of 9:00PM and 10:30PM."

Re:Porn browsing? (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 9 months ago | (#45540905)

If anything, I'd mistrust the people who make a big deal about never looking at internet porn. Just look at the frequent revelations involving vocal evangelists.

In general, I've come to the conclusion the louder someone screeches about the morality of other people, the higher the likelihood they'll get caught in a scandal.

Which has more or less confirmed for me that people are lying douchebags, who mostly want to point the finger at everyone else.

The more rigid and extreme the position, the more they're full of shit.

Re:Porn browsing? (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 9 months ago | (#45540639)

So porn today is like drinking back in the wild west, with regards to trusting people?

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

khasim (1285) | about 9 months ago | (#45540651)

In theory it is not that they watch it but what they watch.

Suppose the NSA loads up the computer of some "radical" with 100's of gigs of interracial gay enema porn and then "reveals" the dirty sex browsing history to the world.

In reality, you'll just be convincing the people who already don't like that person that he is a filthy disgusting bad person. And the people who approved of his ideas will claim it is a conspiracy by the NSA/FBI/CIA/whatever to discredit him and that those pictures were planted.

Re:Porn browsing? (5, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 9 months ago | (#45541085)

In reality, you'll just be convincing the people who already don't like that person that he is a filthy disgusting bad person. And the people who approved of his ideas will claim it is a conspiracy by the NSA/FBI/CIA/whatever to discredit him and that those pictures were planted.

And that's one of the (many) problems with this whole system. Here it wouldn't be a question of agents having to sneak into a guy's house and plant the material. They'll just claim that he browsed such sites and the rest of us will be expected to take their word for it. "Where's the evidence to support this claim?" "We can't tell you. National security."

Re:Porn browsing? (2, Insightful)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about 9 months ago | (#45541157)

My greater fear is that the NSA might already possess, or be working toward, the ability to inject false records into a target's credit history. Create a situation where credit cards are revoked, assets are impounded, the target loses his house, his car, and any ability to ever use credit again. What better way to shut a dissident up than to so mess with his personal finances that he has to spend every waking moment trying to get it all straightened out.

When will snooping on private data end, and manipulation of that data begin?

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540673)

Why would one lose ones credibility because of that?

If anything I wouldn't trust someone who doesn't watch porn..

Precisely. YOU wouldn't. The vast majority of the country, however, would. The vast majority of news outlets would. More to the point, both have an implicit distrust of people who watch porn. And your cavalier attitude towards the opinions of other people outside your social circle would throw you right into the sort of situation the NSA wants: You casually browse porn as if nobody you know cares, you shoot your mouth off about something they don't want you to, the news media picks up on leaked data, the public doesn't trust you, and you fail to realize that your opinions on the innocence of pornography are what's dooming your opinions and any semblance of a "movement" to obscurity in the eyes of the public (the same public from which you REQUIRE SUPPORT in order to get anywhere with any radical ideas you might have), no matter how "logical" or "right" you believe your opinions to be nor how irrelevant to the discussion your porn habits are.

Seriously, the entire "treat the public as an amorphous, impossible-to-comprehend blob we can safely ignore" attitude is what's killing any attempt at nerds taking over areas of public policy. We seem to think the public doesn't matter so long as we have cold, impersonal logic on our side, and we're reliably proven wrong on that every single time as people who are "undeniably wrong" gain all the public support they need at the expense of any support for us, leaving us dumbfounded and baffled. And then the next issue comes up and we do the exact same thing, somehow SURE it'll work THIS time...

Re:Porn browsing? (4, Funny)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 9 months ago | (#45540729)

If anything I wouldn't trust someone who doesn't watch porn..

What about someone who just reads erotica ... while naked and covered in butter? Hypothetically, of course!

Re:Porn browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540871)

Mmmmmmm covered in butter!!!!! mmmmmmmm!!!!!

Re:Porn browsing? (4, Funny)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about 9 months ago | (#45541207)

The lower calorie and healthier practice is to slather on olive oil. The "extra virgin" kind, of course.

Re:Porn browsing? (2)

Thanshin (1188877) | about 9 months ago | (#45540751)

It's even stupider than that, as whoever accuses first would instantly become an incredibly juicy target for any magazine to publish the "true story behind the accuser".

Unless the NSA have someone who's never, ever seen a porn site, which would be a feat beyond miraculous.

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

Shatrat (855151) | about 9 months ago | (#45540765)

If you're a mullah, you wouldn't want people to know you like watching people do things you would have them killed for.

Re:Porn browsing? (3, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45540771)

Anything that even looks like deviant sexual behavior can cost someone their job, their wife and kids, etc. It's a powerful blackmail tool, no matter how common we all know it is.

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 9 months ago | (#45540943)

In this case the people being monitored are leaders of radical Islamic groups in Pakistan. We're not talking about the Weather Underground here; there are completely different cultural norms at play.

Re:Porn browsing? (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#45540945)

Why would one lose ones credibility because of that?

If anything I wouldn't trust someone who doesn't watch porn..

And what possible "proof" could the NSA provide that anyone would believe?

NSA: Hey, look everyone, Joe Radical watches donkey-porn!
Joe: I do not.
NSA: You do too - look at these report we created that shows every dokey-porn video you watched
Joe: That's fake, you made it up
NSA: It's true! We swear it and everyone knows we have no incentive to make it up just to look you look bad!

How would the NSA prove that the "private" browsing activity that they are exposing is really their activity and not something they made up?

Re:Porn browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541143)

Lol you think they would even need to prove it

Re:Porn browsing? (2)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 9 months ago | (#45541155)

How would the NSA prove that the "private" browsing activity that they are exposing is really their activity and not something they made up?

We can't tell you. National security.

Oh, by the way, your family might find your browsing history from last week interesting. You wouldn't want to change your publicly stated opinions on our programs would you?

Re:Porn browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541025)

Because they're outing Muslim radicals for interests in porn that presumably aren't cool according to the Koran. Considering that thing with Mohammed and a 10-year old girl, it probably takes a lot for your porn to not be halal. Camel porn, maybe?

Re:Porn browsing? (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 9 months ago | (#45541033)

Why would one lose ones credibility because of that?

Wouldn't that depend on the type of porn? Given much of the viewing is done in private & away from the public eye... I'm sure many would not be keen on their particular preferences being widely known.

Re:Porn browsing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541073)

Why? Because AMURRICA. That is why.
Nutjobs run the country.

Only terrorists and child beaters watch porn.

Good thing they only target "the bad guys" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540523)

Vulnerabilities identified include: "publishes articles without checking facts"; "deceitful use of funds"; "charges exorbitant speaking fees"; "attracted to fame"; and "glamorous lifestyle".

Donald Trump? This could be a lot of people.

Re:Good thing they only target "the bad guys" (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 9 months ago | (#45540609)

any "superstar" CEO more as well.

Re:Good thing they only target "the bad guys" (1)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about 9 months ago | (#45541181)

Arrest Donald Trump in the name of national security? You're not an NSA shill trying to convince us of the value of this program are you?

Cooperate Or ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540535)

Cooperate or we'll tell everyone about <insert something here>. That's a nice reputation you've got there. It'd be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

The NSA can get away with blackmail. Nothing shocking there.

Abuse of Power (5, Insightful)

pitchpipe (708843) | about 9 months ago | (#45540539)

So, they were going to abuse this power?! J. Edgar Hoover would be shocked I tell you: shocked that it took them this long.

Those that don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately we get to come along for the ride.

nsa as dumb as always been (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540541)

yes I can see that

A Little Bit of Privacy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540547)

I think the NSA's plan here is the reason that we'll always have some privacy protections.

If everybody has a little bit of privacy (that the NSA can still break) there are always tactics like revealing 'embarassing' information available.

In a situation where privacy protections are incredibly strong (i.e.: the NSA is defunded and disbanded for a privacy violation), or nonexistent (i.e. yeah I browse granny-with-midget porn, so does half of the state, and here's the URL to a list of all of us) these kind of embarassing reveals don't work so well.

So, here's to our limited privacy protections! Just another weapon in the arsenal of sociopaths who are running the show.

Opportunities for fabricating evidence (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 9 months ago | (#45540579)

Given the shroud of secrecy the NSA has created, it would be impossible to tell what evidence was real and what was fabricated. So if the NSA wanted to frame one of these "radicals" -- or a sitting member of Congress -- who would be able to refute those charges?

When are Congressmen going to publicly admit that this rogue agency is a greater danger to national security, in any meaningful sense of the term, than Al Quaeda ever was?

Re:Opportunities for fabricating evidence (4, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | about 9 months ago | (#45540793)

People have been gathering the sexual habits of people that they may need to discredit for thousands of years. In the Roman times the Christians accused the Pagan Roman's in charge of having orgy's [cracked.com] and myth sticks around to this day. Mind you having relations with slaves that were children was considered perfectly acceptable by that society so nobody bothered to use it to slander anyone and the result was that people talked freely about it. What they didn't talk freely about was having orgies as they were simply a myth [sydney.edu.au] . In other words this story is as old as prostitutes, politicians and spies, only the names have changed.

Re:Opportunities for fabricating evidence (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 9 months ago | (#45540797)

When are Congressmen going to publicly admit that this rogue agency is a greater danger to national security, in any meaningful sense of the term, than Al Quaeda ever was?

Never, given they just discovered that the NSA has a list of all the pr0n sites they've visited. Do you think there's any politician in DC who has no skeletons in the cupboard for the NSA to exploit?

This is why you don't create a secret police agency. Once they have a file on everyone, no-one can stop them.

Re:Opportunities for fabricating evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540893)

This is why you don't create a secret police agency. Once they have a file on everyone, no-one can stop them.

Not everyone lives in fear like you do.

Re:Opportunities for fabricating evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540799)

Given the shroud of secrecy the NSA has created, it would be impossible to tell what evidence was real and what was fabricated. So if the NSA wanted to frame one of these "radicals" -- or a sitting member of Congress -- who would be able to refute those charges?

When are Congressmen going to publicly admit that this rogue agency is a greater danger to national security, in any meaningful sense of the term, than Al Quaeda ever was?

When one of them gets fucked in the ass by the agency in question, that's when.

Of course, that will happen right after all members of Congress are forced to sign up for Obamacare and eat their own fucking dog food.

Re:Opportunities for fabricating evidence (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 9 months ago | (#45540889)

Bingo.

The NSA is merely a tool for whoever can manipulate their way into controlling how it is used.
It is only a matter of time until a president or other powerful corporate interest uses the NSA to frame what they consider internal, American threats .

The patriots at the NSA wouldn't think twice about using their omniscience to discredit or even bring the threat of physical violence to any American citizen if their overlords commanded them to.

Re:Opportunities for fabricating evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541139)

When are Congressmen going to publicly admit that this rogue agency is a greater danger to national security, in any meaningful sense of the term, than Al Quaeda ever was?

You just answered your own question:

So if the NSA wanted to frame [...] a sitting member of Congress -- who would be able to refute those charges?

It just keeps getting worse (1)

BigSlowTarget (325940) | about 9 months ago | (#45540597)

Is there any bottom to this at all? Seriously, I expected them to be nasty, bureaucratic and invasive but it sounds like they were taking policy guidelines from conspiracy websites.

Re:It just keeps getting worse (4, Interesting)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#45540633)

Remember the article yesterday about US officials fearing another 2 years' worth of releases? It means there are people well aware of more things not yet released. This is just the beginning.

Re:It just keeps getting worse (0, Troll)

HereIAmJH (1319621) | about 9 months ago | (#45540885)

Or it's all just a game. Really, what devastating info has come to light so far? Nothing that any country with their own intelligence agency didn't already know about and likely do as well. It has set up a soap box for political grandstanding, but has it really changed any relationships or policies? The revelation that the NSA has tapped Angela Merkel's cell has turned into a "who hasn't" as 4 other countries have been implicated as well. And this article would be more appropriately titled "NSA prepared to expose hypocrisy of porn browsing religious radicals". Not to downplay the treason of Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, but it hasn't exactly been the end of the world.

Re:It just keeps getting worse (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 9 months ago | (#45541163)

I feel the politicians and bureaucrats in NSA and other intelligence agencies violating our 4th amendment and other rights are the ones committing treason, not those blowing the whistle. But obviously YMMV.

Re:It just keeps getting worse (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540929)

If their goal is to actually change things, I'd expect a huge flood of juicy stuff during the 2016 presidential election season, since the executive gets to set policy goals on such things, and congress can only cut funding, change laws, or charge people with crimes. I'd expect it to be possible to create a fair number of single-issue voters for whichever candidate promises to (and can be trusted to) end it.

captcha: alerter

Re:It just keeps getting worse (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45540853)

It's an age-old adage, if you give someone power they ARE going to use it. And agencies, like people, will usually push for as much power as they can get. The NSA and CIA (and to a lesser extent, the FBI) were basically given blank checks after 9-11. Anyone who ever believed they were going to voluntarily restrict their use of that kind of power to Muslim terrorists was a fool.

Re:It just keeps getting worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540923)

A pattern that I've noticed while growing up is that every time I feel like asking "Could things really be THAT bad?" the answer tends to be "Of course it is, you stupid child"

Were they doing anything illegal? (1)

Draeven (166561) | about 9 months ago | (#45540635)

There goes that argument.

Re:Were they doing anything illegal? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540821)

This is the beauty of the structured releases.

GG: The NSA is spying on the Internet. Here is the proof.
NSA: No, we're only spying on terrorist's use of the Internet.
GG: The NSA is spying on everyone on the Internet. Here is the proof.
NSA: Well OK, but we can't help that. Anyway, we don't look at it if you aren't a terrorist.
GG: The NSA hands over unfiltered data on non-terrorists to Israel and the FBI. Here is the proof.
NSA: Well OK, but if you aren't doing anything illegal, you have nothing to hide.
GG: The NSA blackmails political radicals. Here is the proof.

I do hope this goes on for years.

Re:Were they doing anything illegal? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#45540925)

It's difficult to imagine how the NSA can possibly survive all of this.

Difficult to imagine, but sadly that's just probably because of my own cognitive shortcomings. I'm sure they will survive and thrive. After all, with this kind of information at their disposal, the NSA can go far beyond the poisonous atmosphere that J. Edgar Hoover created around Washington in his day. The NSA will likely own almost everyone in Congress, if they don't already.

Porn and Trust (0)

sahuxley (2617397) | about 9 months ago | (#45540641)

To be honest, I wouldn't trust a guy who told me he DIDN'T watch porn.

Oh shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540657)

Ohhhh Nooooo NSA! You caught me watching hairy mature porn?!

Oh God! People will realize that I'm a hetero-sexual who likes older women who don't shave their pussy because I like my women to look like .... women and not little girls?! Ohhhh Nooooo!

The SHAME!

What next NEXT NSA? What fucking next?!

Read the Goddamn Constitution - assholes. And fucking read what our founding fathers had to say. Many of whom would be on your goddamn watch list if they were alive today!

Jesus Fucking Christ! The NSA, the Enemy of America!

Re:Oh shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540961)

Read the Goddamn Constitution - assholes.

I'm starting to wonder if the NSA doesn't have a drinking game for this sort of think. Drink every time someone demands you read the Constitution :^)

Not news but great reminder (1)

erroneus (253617) | about 9 months ago | (#45540677)

The fact is, the 3-letter spy agencies have ALWAYS capitalized on blackmail. That these agencies even exist, in my opinion, is based on their blackmail powers. But these days, as politicians are actually standing up for their wayward ways (thank Rob Ford and Bill Clinton!) I think it's time we stop persecuting people for being people. (Crack smoking mayor? I have to draw a line there but the idea is good.) If someone gambles, weigh it in on how you feel about them. If someone is gay, SO WHAT?! If someone likes to dress up like a girl (and isn't one) who cares?! As long as these people aren't hurting anyone else, it's time we judge people based on the jobs they are doing. This blackmail crap has got to end.

Should we have a government agency in charge of spying on politicians? MAYBE! But in charge of spying on EVERYONE? No.

Re:Not news but great reminder (1)

Megane (129182) | about 9 months ago | (#45541053)

Meh. DC had a crack smoking mayor yeeeeears ago, and they still re-elected him.

Appropriate and effective - they should do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540693)

This is actually an excellent strategy. Extreme views can be thought of as 'memes' - transmissible between minds just like viruses are between bodies.

The fight against terrorism really should be a fight against contagious, harmful ideas, not a military campaign. If you tackle the root problem (memes) then you can address the sickness. If you merely target infected people (kill them using military force) you inevitably cause collateral damage, create martyrs, etc. which actually makes the bad memes more contagious. Counter productive!

So how to fight bad memes? In this case, the bad memes are extreme forms of religion (most frequently Sunni Islam, but religion in general, as evidenced by crazy people in the US, Northern Ireland, Israel, etc.). One way to do that is to show that the people perpetrating the memes do not actually adhere to their own ideals. If someone claims to be a pure, faithful Muslim but spends hours a day surfing for on-line porn, clearly they cannot be held up as role models by other, faithful Muslims. Making this information public discredits the preacher -- makes him a less contagious source of these memes. Discredit many people who preach the ideology and you make the whole 'movement' look stupid - effectively defanging the memes themselves.

The US should spend money on this kind of thing - privacy intrusion and all - instead of military adventures. Less bloody and more effective.

Unfortunately, the US seems to prefer military adventures.

COINTELPRO all over again! (2)

swb (14022) | about 9 months ago | (#45540695)

It really is, except this time there's no messy "black bag" B&E jobs to get into homes and find porno mags, read diaries and letters, etc. Just hack into their computers and it's all right there.

And if all else fails, trump up some rape charges (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45540741)

But I'm sure that they would NEVER go that far.

Re:And if all else fails, trump up some rape charg (1)

Jiro (131519) | about 9 months ago | (#45540881)

If you're referring to Julian Assange, those rape charges were the fault of radical feminists getting their beliefs entrenched in European rape law, not the NSA.

Re:And if all else fails, trump up some rape charg (5, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#45541011)

Actually, I was also referring to Dominique Strauss Kahn (seems to be a common tactic these days). Poor boy made the mistake of challenging the supremacy of the U.S. dollar [guardian.co.uk] as IMF chief. Within a few months he was in handcuffs, with the prosecutor announcing a "rock solid" rape case--forcing him to resign. Three days after his successor was sworn in as the new IMF chief, the prosecutor dropped all charges and announced the case had no merit.

I guess the lesson here is, don't fuck with the U.S. government.

Re:And if all else fails, trump up some rape charg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541197)

"I guess the lesson here is, don't fuck with the U.S. government."

Which also means don't ask questions about the Israeli government, by extension.

"By the way, you don't want to go to work tomorrow." Sept 10, 2001
-MOving SyStems IncorporAteD

Freedom of speech? (2)

Minupla (62455) | about 9 months ago | (#45540753)

You know, it's funny but I don't believe I recall seeing "...until we don't agree with your speech, at which point we'll collect dirt on you and blackmail you with it" in the first amendment. Must be in the second edition.

The Great Firewall of China begins to look like a useful protection for their citizens at this point.

(Yes, I realize that the majority of these people were not on US soil, but it's purportedly a principle, and one the US criticizes any country who does not espouse, and as such should apply more broadly then just to people standing on US soil at the time).

Min

Re:Freedom of speech? (4, Insightful)

javajawa (126489) | about 9 months ago | (#45540817)

Sure... you're free to speak, and they're free to listen... they are then free to repeat what they've heard. This is why the right to remain silent is pretty damned nifty... and why their attempts to outlaw encryption and other instruments of privacy are so appalling.

Re:Freedom of speech? (1)

Minupla (62455) | about 9 months ago | (#45540971)

Hey JJ, long time :)

Arguably when a state entity espouses such a principle in their founding documents, they would have an ethical obligation to not undermine those principles through use of state organs.

I agree that the text says they will make no law abridging the right, however, I would expect an implied corollary to be "Since we believe that this right is so important we won't engage in actions which would have a chilling effect on it."

Min

Where will they stop? (3, Informative)

cpghost (719344) | about 9 months ago | (#45540759)

While most won't mind the NSA blackmailing (potential) terrorists using their web history, why stop there? Hasn't the NSA already blackmailed high ranking EU politicians, using the very same techniques, to ensure that SWIFT data will continue to be shared with the US [reuters.com] , despite the European Parliament's motion to suspend this data sharing? See where all this leads to?

Deniability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540785)

So what if the NSA publishes that I enjoy watching amateur shemale amputee midget porn. Really.. Pics or it didn't happen. Oh, and my laptop's webcam is disconnected. Not taped over because that's ugly, I actually snipped the wires.

#irc.t8ollt4lk.com (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540835)

Both believed that cen7ralized = 36440 FreeBSD by BSDI who sell

Re:#irc.t8ollt4lk.com (1)

peppepz (1311345) | about 9 months ago | (#45541133)

I think that these unexplicable strings of characters that always contain the word "FreeBSD" and pop up under every slashdot article are actually used by the NSA/CIA as number stations to convey secret messages to their minions.

Stazi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540845)

Secretly monitoring innocent people, because they are political opponents, in order to persecute them for political reasons. Sounds exactly like the Stazi.

This is scary stuff, because they already have a lot of this information stored down, probably permanently, from all of us - and they have demonstrated a willingness to abuse this information for political reasons against the population; this isn't just in the US either, but all around the world.

This puts a lot of people in potential danger, not in the present, but in the future: How can anyone be confident what kind of government will be in control in their country in 10/20/30 years time? Will that government target you with violence for your political views, past/present?

Now they have a lot of the information (and all of the means) they need to do it.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540859)

What did the NSA know about Tamerlan Tsarnaev? That's what I want to know. If the mass surveillance is justified, how did they not know about his plot? How did they fail to prevent it?

Backfire (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 9 months ago | (#45540927)

Wow, that could backfire really nicely.

The NSA has every Xbone crypto key (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45540965)

NSA spying on electronic sex talk of every overseas US serviceperson (and sharing lists of the 'juciest' 'phone sex' conversations they had recorded). Was this fact alone not the BIGGEST wake-up call to the actuality of NSA full surveillance abuse.

Snowden has access to programs that are the TINIEST tip of the iceberg of full surveillance projects across the globe. Snowden was a VERY low level operative with knowledge of trivial and disposable side projects. The true heart of the NSA project is insanely more ambitious.

1) Full surveillance projects exists to primarily create feedback loops between the current state of mind of the general populace, and the propaganda projects in the mainstream media that seek to change and manipulate the mindset of the people. The usual vile shills here tell you that even though your government spies on every private aspect of your life, you shouldn't care, because they have no interest in you as an individual. In a strictly technical sense, they are right, since most NSA spying is like endless real-time polling of the population (or sub groups) to find out how such groups are thinking or responding.

However, the purpose of this spying is to give your masters MUCH better control over your lives, and THAT fact will effect you most certainly as an individual. For instance, Team Obama and Team Blair wanted to launch a genocidal bombing campaign against Syria, but YOU the people were so against this war, despite the most depraved anti-Syria propaganda campaign in every mainstream media outlet, that the monstrously evil plan was 'cancelled'. Billions are being spent researching why the propaganda failed, and NSA feedback on the subject is an essential part of the analysis.

2) As this story proves, the NSA seeks to gather intelligence on the entire population, in order to create potential blackmail information against every citizen, should that person become a 'PERSON OF INTEREST' in the future. Use the N-word in your own home in front of the Xbox One as a naive youngster? You may find that fact impossible to explain years later when you are seeking political office- but ONLY if you are foolish enough to have political views that, for instance, don't serve the interests of Israel or Monsanto etc.

3) Full surveillance operations by the NSA and others allows grass-roots social/political movements to be identified BEFORE they have wider significance, allowing rising leaders to be 'eliminated' or co-opted. The NSA maintains the status quo by identifying potential opposition at an early enough stage for that 'opposition' to be dealt with with near zero greater public awareness.

Those that consider themselves as part of the elite, like the eugenicist Bill Gates, are happy to dedicate their lives to finding better ways to control YOU, the sheeple. And worse, when Gates PROVES that the sheeple are so weak-willed, servile, stupid, and pathetic, they raise ZERO complaint about his 'Common Core' project, his inBloom "every child tracked in every aspect of their life" universal database (which contains the best intelligence resources would-be child abusers could dream of), and his NSA spy device in every home Xbox One, the elite becomes even more certain of their god given right to exploit 'lesser' Humans in every way possible.

Internet is porn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45541037)

d'uh

Richelieu (5, Interesting)

Catbeller (118204) | about 9 months ago | (#45541047)

Arms inspector Scott Ritter, who called Bush and company liars. Immediately monitored to hell and back, reputation ruined by mysterious surveillance forces within months of taking the fight to Bush's people. Being right was no excuse; he was never allowed on Oprah again, or anywhere else. We invaded Iran under false pretense. He's in prison after the second round of surveillance.

As for the charges, which they ultimately nailed him with? Dunno. Why does everyone assume that computers can't lie? Once you set up the premise that we are catching lots of bad men, it's child's play to make you a bad man - just invent some logs, some chat, and boom goes the dynamite. I don't trust electrons when they are under the control of people who would bomb 60,000 people to death for oil and conflating brown people with other brown people.

And talking to girls online is a crime they can hang on a lot of men, anyway. He didn't *do* anything. Except piss the right people off. On the other hand, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft and Rice are rich and free after stealing trillions in oil, starting two endless wars, and killing over a hundred thousand people.

Assume that people are watching you, listening to you - retroactively - if you annoy the right people. They can indeed hang you with six lines. Hell, I do now christen this "Richelieuing".

Yeah, that'll work. (1)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about 9 months ago | (#45541137)

NSA: Sheik Abdul Muhammad Hussein likes to look at boobies.

Sheik: The NSA is lying.

Follower #1: Yeah, the NSA is lying.

Follower #2: Boobies? Where's the boobies?

Tried to do this to Martin Luther KIng (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 9 months ago | (#45541179)

The FBI used similar tactics [rawstory.com] on the "most dangerous Negro" aka Martin Luther King -- they bugged his bedroom and then tried to blackmail him with an audiotape of him having sex with women who weren't his wife.

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